All to often in our society we are inundated with the constant message of hate, worry, and living in a constant state of fear. Everything we watch, music we listen to, people we live life with all have essences of hate, worry and fear. We hear the news depict hate crimes, hateful people, people being murdered, raped, abused and more. And whats left when we hear all this, all the time? The subtle eroding of ourselves, the washing away of morals, ethics all the while we add fear, worry and hate into our hearts, brains and lives.
Face it, we live in a world that wants you to be afraid, all the time. I’m constantly in the van driving either for Uber or taking the kids to the grocery store. I know I’m speeding and I see a cop, what happens? I slam on the break because I fear getting a ticket. Or I’m out with the guys, having a good time, and I’m drinking but I think I can drive home. Knowing good and well I can’t safely drive home, I do it anyway. I round a corner to fast and flip my van over, hitting another car in the meantime, killing everyone except me. I then live with the constant reminder of pain, death, guilt, and fear that I never drive a car again.
The Arrows of Fear
We live in a constant state of fear. It literally sucks the life out of us sometimes. It can lead to panic attacks, mental break downs and more. Not only do we live in a constant state of fear but we also are vehicles of fear for others. Fear is defined as follows:
I teach my kids that every thing they do is a choice. The choice to get in trouble by hitting their brother, the choice to have more milk in their cereal or the choice to speak life, kindness or gentleness to someone. Choices. Everyone has choices. When I get angry at my kids I have the choice to yell or be calm. When my wife does or says something I have the choice to react in anger or show her love.
We all have that crossbow of fear and we can cock it back and shoot it at any time. The choices we make can invoke fear in others. A few weeks ago I yelled at Ethan for waking up his brother during nap time. I was hot. But I yelled. And yelled alot to the point that Ethan was crying and I assume that it was more because of my yelling then him getting in trouble. I quickly stopped, grabbed him and apologized for yelling and to forgive me.
I made the choice to yell, however instead of leaving him, abandoned, crying and wondering why, I quickly took him in a loving embrace, apologized and asked him to forgive me. Realizing that I had shot a painful arrow in my sons heart and I ran to him and removed it. The bleeding was short lived but the reminder that I gave him to not cross me left him afraid. (Note I didn’t actually shoot an arrow at my son).
We shoot that painful fear arrow in so many ways too. It’s not always with our kids or spouse. Its in the choices we make to post that vicious social media post about someone else, slandering them, accusing them, hating them for what they said or did or didn’t say or do.
Watch what you Say and Do
Everything we say, everything we do not only is a conscience choice to do either good or evil, but those choices have consequences. I tell my kids all the time not to do something not because its a bad choice per se, but theres a consequence to it. Don’t brush your teeth, get bad breath which can lead to cavities. Drive drunk, you can hurt yourself and others. Spread lies, hatred, slander, it can lead to destruction amongst family and friends.
Ears are everywhere.
Your Online Presence
Being online, being on social media, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, snapchat, blogging, vlogging, YouTube is a privilege. We don’t have to be on there, we choose to be on there. We choose to post (or not post) pictures of our kids, family, adventures and more. But we also choose to share harmful meme’s, propaganda, videos and more. I’ve found that most people act one way on social media then how they act with friends and family.
What is it about social media that brings out the worst in us (sometimes)? What is it about the nasty meme, picture or video, that we know full and well is going to piss people off, upset someone or make some one cry? Why are we as people constantly tearing people down? Why are we shooting that arrow into peoples lives when we know we need to put down the crossbow?
What you say in private is just as important as what you say online. I have to be aware for myself first before I can share with you your short comings. Jesus reminds us to “Look at the speck of sawdust in my eye before I help you get the speck out of your eye (paraphrase).”